We are still in the grip of one of the wettest and stormiest winters on record, putting many of Britain’s businesses at risk of the devastating effects of flooding. Many properties previously unaffected by the damage water can cause are now bearing the brunt, as this extreme weather threatens one in six UK buildings. If your business has already suffered from, or is at risk of flooding, then the correct pre-planning will minimise the damage, with flood post clean-up protecting the environment and saving valuable assets where possible.
The Environment Agency issued nearly 7,000 flood alerts and warnings in 2012-13, the largest number in its history and, according to DEFRA, flooding is the worst threat to Britain as a result of climate change, with flood risk properties quadrupling over the next 20 years. Frighteningly, however, the Environment Agency is to reduce staff numbers from 11,250 to 9,700 by this October.
With the average cost incurred by flooding standing at between £75,000 and £112,000, for small businesses, and into the millions for larger organisations, water poses a considerable financial threat, not to mention the potential for pollution to the surrounding area; particularly where oil, or other hazardous materials, are on-site.
For businesses, these statistics should provide the driver to put proper flood procedure in place. Don’t get caught out by the flood: pre-plan and get expert help when it comes to post clean-up. Adler and Alan’s team can be quickly mobilised to remove damaged stock, with specialist equipment to jet wash or clean site fixtures, minimising operational downtime.
Are You At Risk of Flooding?
With storms hitting the south coast of Britain and other parts of the UK on an almost nightly basis at the moment, it is important that you keep a close eye on the Environment Agency’s website which issues regular warnings for those areas at risk of flooding. You can register with the EA Floodline to receive these warnings direct.
Pre-Planning for Flooding
Make sure you have a flood plan in place, we can help you assess your risk and create this plan, as well as providing emergency response services in the event of a flood. Appoint someone responsible in-house to take charge of the plan should flood water strike. Consider preparing a flood kit, which could include spillcare kits, particularly for businesses that store hazardous liquids, such as oil.
Are You Protected?
Check insurance policies to see if you are covered for business interruption, loss of profit and water damage. In the event of a flood, take pictures of the damage, both to the property and its contents for insurance claims.
Protect Your Assets
If you know that water’s on its way, relocate stock, critical records, electronic equipment or anything of high-value. This might not be possible in the case of large machinery, but saving something is better than nothing. Make sure all electrical appliances are disconnected and shut off the gas supply to reduce the risk of fire.
Floodwaters are often contaminated with sewage, or other hazardous materials (fuels, asbestos, farm chemicals, etc.) Make sure drains are clear, with hand operated valves on piping closed to prevent backflow through floor drains or plumbing fixtures.
Sites, such as petrol station forecourts, major car parks and hauliers’ yards, must maintain their separators. Separators are essential for trapping harmful substances before they enter the surrounding area and if not kept clean, can become blocked and their filters saturated, stopping the flow of water off a site or causing polluted water to contaminate the local environment.
In the event of a flood a separators job is even more important, but, if blocked, they can cause flooding. We provide Service and Maintenance contracts for Full Retention and Forecourt separators, ensuring customer peace of mind as well as compliance with the law.
Post-Flood Clean Up
If, despite your best efforts, flood water has taken hold, cleaning up the aftermath quickly and efficiently is essential for saving water damaged equipment and buildings, as well as minimising any risk to the environment. If a spill has occurred as a result of flooding, our range of spillcare kits can be a great first step. Depending on the scale of the flooding, calling in expert help will ensure rapid clean up and damage limitation.
Our Emergency Response teams are on call 24/7 and can strengthen flood defences, as well as undertaking the pumping, tinkering and disposal of floodwater.
Adler and Allan were the principle contractor for the Buncefield cleanup and were prominent in responding to the 2007 floods. The company is an approved contractor to the UK Environment Agency, the Marine and Coastguard Agency, as well as many blue-chip industrial and commercial companies.